Dame Judith Hackitt has stressed the need for competency, accountability and responsibility to be at the heart of the new building safety system, in order to rebuild the public’s trust in providing safe homes for people to live in.
She was speaking at the IET National Conference for Electrotechnical and Building Safety Competence on 31 Jan, which aims to bring experts together, working with or within the electrotechnical sector and in building services/safety related roles with a key focus on individual competence, accountability and continuing professional development.
Dame Judith’s presentation explained how legislation will incentivise the take up of professional registration, which in turn will help to demonstrate competency. She stressed how the focus must be on delivering quality buildings that are safe, with genuine engagement with residents needed to rebuild trust: “competence and quality assurance must become part of the new culture across the whole of construction.”
As the UK regulatory body for the engineering profession, operating under a Royal Charter, the Engineering Council plays a crucial role through setting the internationally-recognised standards for professional registration. As Engineering Council CEO Alasdair Coates explained in his presentation to the IET National Conference, the Engineering Council also holds the Register of individual engineers and technicians who have been assessed as meeting that standard of engineering competence and commitment.
Alasdair Coates said: “The Engineering Council’s vision is to maintain society’s confidence and trust in the engineering profession. Professional registration is important because standards matter – particularly in safety-critical areas of work, the public has a right to expect engineers to be able to demonstrate their competence and behave in an ethical, sustainable way.”
Implementing one of the recommendations of Working Group 1 – Engineers (following Dame Judith Hackitt’s report), the Engineering Council is developing a contextualised standard for engineers working on high risk buildings. This is a version of The UK Standard for Engineering Competence and Commitment (UK-SPEC) 4.0, which will embed BSI’s overarching competence framework standard for everyone working on a building, specifying the engineering competences.
This contextualised standard will enable individuals’ competence to be assessed by professional engineering institutions (PEIs) against the standard and if successful, added to the publicly searchable Engineering Council Register.
The Electrician EngTech Standard, developed by IET, is an existing example of a contextualized standard. It sets out the competence requirements specific to electricians, providing a clear route and makes it straightforward to understand how their experience meets the requirements. This both acts as a national benchmark of competence for electricians, whose expertise is safety-critical, and demonstrates how the Engineering Council’s generic standards can be contextualised for specific roles or sectors.
Professional registration is open to any competent practising engineer or technician, with multiple pathways to registration available. Registration not only demonstrates an individual’s competence, but their commitment to maintaining and enhancing that competence through Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
Sir Julian Young, IET President, said: “Professional registration is an important milestone for any engineer or technician, as it demonstrates professionalism, competence and personal commitment to the engineering and technology sectors.”
The IET National Conference for Electrotechnical and Building Safety Competence is being delivered virtually across two dates. For more details, or to register for part two of the event on 21 February, please visit the IET website.
For press enquiries:
Kate Webster, Engineering Council – firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 3206 0567
The Engineering Council was incorporated by Royal Charter in November 1981 to regulate the engineering profession in the UK. This is our 40th year of setting and maintaining standards, to ensure that society continues to have confidence and trust in the engineering profession.
The Engineering Council holds the national Register of Engineering Technicians (EngTech), Incorporated Engineers (IEng), Chartered Engineers (CEng) and Information and Communication Technology Technicians (ICTTech). It also sets and maintains the internationally recognised standards of competence and ethics that govern the award and retention of these titles. By this means it is able to ensure that employers, government and wider society, both at home and overseas, can have confidence in the skills and commitment of registrants. For more information visit: www.engc.org.uk